If approved, the system could go active next year.
We know BMW coined the phrase the ultimate driving machine, but for quite some time now German cars in general have been heralded by many as the machines of choice for people who enjoy driving. Does anyone else find it ironic that Germany seems to be taking the biggest steps as of late to remove drivers from the equation?
Mercedes-Benz is the latest manufacturer to step into the autonomous world. The company has launched an automated parking service at its multi-story parking garage used for visitors to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, allowing passengers to leave the car completely as it finds its parking spot. In this instance, however, it’s not just about the car, but the building as well. Working with Bosch, the manufacturer has turned the car park into an “intelligent” structure.
"Parking will be an automated process in the future,” said Gerhard Steiger, director of the chassis systems control unit at Bosch. “By applying an intelligent multi-story car park infrastructure and networking it with vehicles, we have managed to realize driverless parking substantially earlier than planned."
In short, sensors installed throughout the car park monitor the area and the car, and actually help guide the car to its assigned parking spot. The vehicle’s on-board autonomous systems further aid in the process while ensuring the car “performs safe driving maneuvers” en route to and from its parking area. As you would expect, it will all be controlled via smartphone app.
With the launch of the automated parking system, it will first undergo an extensive trial and commissioning phase with select cars at the park, all under the close eye of local authorities. Should everything get a final approval for a 2018 launch, it will be the first such driverless parking system in the world.
With Audi’s recent autonomous A7 concept program shuffling people down the autobahn, automakers are definitely pushing forward with fervor into the self-driving realm. The question on many peoples’ minds is whether or not the world is ready for such things. It looks like we’re going to find out one way or another very soon.